Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., today announced the formation of a drug shortages task force. “I’m charging the shortages task force to delve more deeply into the reasons why some shortages remain a persistent challenge,” Gottlieb said. “The charge to this new task force is to look for holistic solutions to addressing the underlying causes for these shortages.” Keagan Lenihan, FDA’s associate commissioner for strategic initiatives, will lead the task force, which will include senior leaders from the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Department of Veterans Affairs. Last month, a bipartisan group of 31 senators urged Gottlieb to convene the task force created by the FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012, stakeholders and other relevant agencies to report on the root causes of drug shortages and the authorities FDA and other federal agencies need to address them. In its latest annual report to Congress on drug shortages, FDA identified 39 new drug and biological product shortages in 2017, up from 26 in 2016, and 41 ongoing shortages from prior years.

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